What the SCM Cars Want For the Holidays: Part 1

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been finding little notes folded up on my desk. Some are written in cursive, others in block letters. They all have one thing in common – they are being composed by the cars in the SCM collection.

Of course, all the cars asked for some seat time. My rotator-cuff surgery is well on its way to being 100% healed. I expect to be driving a stick shift by Arizona Car Week in late January.

Let’s Read More

Making the SCM Volvo Amazon Better Than New

This saga illustrates how much time and energy an old car can cost you — even when it’s solid when you buy it.

My 1967 Volvo 122S came from Volvo P1800 racer and retired academic Jim Perry. He had combined the rebuilt drive train of one car with the very nice body and interior of another.

I purchased it as a “needs-nothing, fly-to-Madison, Wisconsin and drive-it-home car.”

While not perfect, the car was very straight and attractive in a light cream color with a tan Read More

Keith’s Blog: La Dolce Vita in Modena

Today, I’d like to share this space with Mark Wigginton, a veteran SCM writer — I’m sure you’ve enjoyed his “Speaking Volumes” column. Wigginton recently traveled to Modena, Italy for a visit with Pierangelo Masselli of Modena Classic Works. Take it away, Mark…

So, when the boss says, “Can you go look at some vintage cars and a restoration shop for me?”

Keith’s Blog: Doing Arizona Right

It’s bitterly cold today in Portland, and I’m just finalizing my room arrangements at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The third annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance takes place on Sunday, January 24, and I’ll be there as co-emcee, along with SCM Editor-at-Large Donald Osborne.

I don’t think I have missed the Arizona auctions since SCM began, 28 years ago. It used to be simple: fly in, go to Barrett-Jackson (and maybe Kruse if you came a few days Read More

Keith’s Blog: What is it About Convertibles in Winter?

If I don’t drive my old cars in the winter, I feel like I am losing out on part of the ownership experience.

Growing up in San Francisco, with its temperate weather, I recall keeping a down-filled parka behind the seats of my Bugeye Sprite. I never put the top up, and the little bit of warmth that came from its Smiths heater, combined with my cold-weather jacket, was enough to allow me to keep the top down all year long.

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Desert Concorso 2015: Something For Everyone

I’ve just returned from the second Desert Concorso, which was in Palm Springs, CA, this year. The clear, sunny skies and 75-degree weather provided a perfect setting for more than 100 collector cars.

The weekend kicked off with a reception at Landmark Aviation, held at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport at Thermal.

Palm Springs Stadium was the venue for the concours this year. The cars were displayed on the baseball field, which provided a visually and physically enclosed way to Read More

Exploding the “Needs-Nothing” Bugeye

It was just two months ago that I bought Bradley his first car, a 1960 Bugeye.

I drove the “needs-nothing” car home 65 miles from White Salmon, WA, made a short list of minor items in need of attention and gave Bradley a ride around the block.

The car didn’t idle well, so I sent it to Commonwealth Classics, owned by SCM contributor Reid Trummel, in Vancouver, WA. Surely, I thought, it just needs a little tweaking and will Read More

The 911 Makes a $2,500 Visit to the Mechanic

A few issues cropped up on SCM’s 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo after the 1,000-mile Northwest Passage tour this summer. The airbag warning light came on, and a few days later the PSM/ABS light joined it. Then I began to hear a low whirring sound from the engine.

And now the car is back from its visit to Sunset Porsche. Once again, Service Advisor Gabe Wiley took it under his wing and shepherded it through the “find, Read More

The Méhari Out-Climbs a Land Rover

We were sitting in the SCM Citroën Méhari, watching a Land Rover Discovery make several attempts to climb a wet, grassy hill. The Rover would get halfway up, its wheels would lose traction and back down it would come.

“Watch this!” said Bill Lonseth, caretaker of the Méhari. He revved up the mighty 600-cc twin-cylinder, air-cooled engine, and we attacked the hill — and cruised right up and over, to the applause of those watching.

This was the 2015 Read More

Winter and the SCM Fleet

Our unseasonably long, hot summer is finally coming to an end. The temperatures today are in the 60s with overcast skies and a light drizzle. While this would be considered summer weather in my native San Francisco, here in Portland it’s time to start prepping for winter.

I’ve begun shuffling the SCM fleet around, in some instances to take care of deferred maintenance after a summer of use, and in others to make major improvements.

Also, as I am still Read More